life

Quotes That Change Your Life

Between my homework, research, writing, and general internet trolling this morning, I found this on Instagram, and suddenly my world seemed to stop.

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Is it possible that my life/childhood just started to make a little more sense?

I might need this stitched on a pillow or tattooed on an appendage.

Some quotes just shake you to the core, and this one I will carry with me forever.

Are there quotes that have moved you or that you keep close to your heart?

Image originally found on Troian Bellisario’s feed at: http://instagram.com/p/x4WeetmrwA/

Sangrias and Ball Gowns

Saturday was an official “spring day” here in Michigan, so Paul and I headed to Grand Rapids to meet up with some fabulous friends of ours, Doug and Samay, to enjoy the city’s best sangrias at San Chez:

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What an eclectic place! Amazing food (I had vanilla, maple steel-cut oats), free-spirited atmosphere, and the sangrias were to die for!

After breakfast, the boys headed out to visit all of the local breweries while Samay and I chatted and finished off 2 pitchers of sangrias. We have officially launched the tradition of Sangria Saturday.

What else are 2 girls to do on a glorious spring day in down town Grand Rapids after inhaling that much sangria? Shop of course! 

An hour of meandering the shops and streets, Samay wanted to go look at a jewelry store which so happened to be located right next to a bridal salon. Samay dragged me in… I didn’t want to be the “yet to be engaged woman looking at dresses”.  But I was welcomed with open arms, strong arms, that before I knew it had me in a dressing room. 

“Ok, one dress” I said to myself. 

The first dress was an A-line Lazaro that looked gorgeous on the mannequin, but quickly turned into a taffeta monster once I started to dive into it. I swear to God, I thought it was going to eat me alive. It was ginormous, uncomfortable, and I felt like a massive cupcake. 

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This is dress 1. Not me in dress 1 of course. I almost wish I had allowed pictures so you could all laugh along with me.

You know what isn’t fun? **TMI ALERT***Trying on wedding dresses when you are 40lbs over weight, hung-over, haven’t washed your hair in days, on the 2nd day of your period and pretty sure  you need to change your tampon, and needing to poop.  Oh yeah, how is that for the bridal glow.

When I got the first itchy monstrosity off of me, they had 3 more in the dressing room waiting for me. So picture me in the dressing room in a Target bra which didn’t match my polka dot bikini briefs and green and white striped Michigan State calf socks…. unshaven for many moons.  SEXY.

My second dress was a hideous beaded corset top with another A-line skirt. Just no.

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These dresses don’t look like this on normal people with a top knot and no makeup.

As I sauntered gracelessly back into the dressing room, trying not to trip on or rip my third massive gown, the sales woman says to me, “You don’t wear dresses often do you?”.

I raise an  eyebrow at her, because this is the most absurd question I had been asked all day. “What do I look like, a Disney princess? No, I don’t frequently wear ballgowns”.

The fourth dress was actually a surprise to me.  It was a trumpet silhouette and was the most flattering of them all. Not hating it aside, I denied their request for more dresses and raced to the dressing room to escape, passing another incoming bride who was ecstatic to try on dresses.  From the looks of her, not only did she have the bride gene, but she wasn’t hung over, had washed her hair and had probably shaved her legs in the last 2 weeks. I was more than happy to tap her into the “master bridal suite”.

Note to self: prepare for a trip to a bridal salon by shaving, wearing cute underwear, doing your hair and makeup, but never forget to always: 

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And really, at the end of the day, I’ll have fun getting married even if I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie (which I assure you I won’t be). 

A case of the DIYs

It is no secret that Paul and I are moving in less than 2 months (yay!), and I have been in full on type-A mode prepping for our new apartment. I feel that it is time to do away with all of my used and loved college furniture and get a fresher look for our home.

Enter new couch, new rug, new comforters, and new desk… oh wait, I’m poor; so that was the end of our new stuff. Time to get creative.

For years I have had an orange couch, a burgundy recliner, and an overall “fall theme” in my living room.  it is time to lighten things up.  Not being able to afford a new recliner, and truly loving the one I have, I decided to take it into my own hands, along with a staple gun and some fabric, to create a new look:

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I started out with this bad boy.  Paul just left me to my own devices in the 3-season room and said “don’t staple yourself”.  An hour and a half later:

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Voila! 

It wasn’t without its struggles, oh no, but from the front it is extremely presentable.

Advice to others:

1. If you read a blog and they say “I just got 5 yards of fabric to redo my chair”, get 6.  Just trust me, get 6…. and don’t look at the back of my chair which is currently still burgundy.

2. I know buying a staple gun is exciting, but make sure that you buy the right size staples.  I knew there were different lengths, but surprise! There are also different widths.

3. Read the instructions before attempting to load the staple gun.

My next project was redoing the top half of a desk that has been in my family for 20 years.  I have decided to keep the top half to use as a book shelf in the new apartment.  I figured “how hard could it be to paint over wood?”.  Paul, the voice of reason and experience, my own personal Yoda, suggested that I sand it down first so the paint sticks. I figured paint would just stick to wood anyway, but ok. 

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After finding extra paint in the basement, I realized that I didn’t have a paint brush.  This was divine intervention because I figured while I was out, I should get some fabric to cover inside and make it really cool!

I went out, got my brush, got my fabric, and settled down in the living room to get to work. “Did you get primer?”

The F&$K?!?!

Why does Paul insist on interrupting my “shoot and holler shit” methodology of life with practicality and legitimate questions?

“Um….” glancing quickly at my bucket of paint, modern invention is on my side.”PAINT AND PRIMER IN ONE!!!” I yell at him, as if saying “Boom! I already thought of that”. Nope, I just got lucky.

2 coats of paint later, I was ready to put on some fabric.  Not to sound like a kindergarten drop-out, but I am AWFUL at cutting straight lines. It was not pretty, but after a number of attempts, my master piece was finished:

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Now I kind of want to keep the  bottom half of the desk and just repaint that too.  

I have never been much of a DIY person, but I am having some fun 🙂 

t-minus 57 days until the move!

 

Some nights you just need a glass (bottle) of wine

As the snow has weighed down most of the nation, I feel like the stress of work has weighed me down.  Our generous vacation of nearly 3 weeks was wonderful to recharge and reset for the New Year, but 3 days in and I am starting to feel it already!

I love my job.  I love that I am working on 100 different projects at one time, 4 or 5 “departments” that need me at once, new ideas coming to the surface, not to mention day-to-day tasks and the unknown always popping up in my inbox and flying across my desk. But sometimes at the end of the day, you just need a glass of wine to recharge for the next day.

It has been a fabulous 2014 thus far, and I am excited to say that it will be an amazing year.  I was accepted to grad school and will be moving to Chicago to pursue my Masters this summer!

2014 is going to be the year to cross things off of my bucket list. I already have 3 ready to go. 1. Move out of Michigan 2. Move to a large city (my favorite none the less) 3. Pursue my Masters.

I love the New Year.  I love the thought of a fresh start and a clean slate.  Any day can be a clean slate, but for me, nothing gives hope like starting off the year on the right foot.

What are you all hoping to do or accomplish in the New Year?

Here are a few pics from my holiday and 2014 adventures thus far!

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A shot after the ice storm in downtown East Lansing

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Our New Year was spent celebrating the birthday of the 2 goldens in the back. It was such a great time with some of my dearest friends. (Look at the handsome ones in the middle)

We headed to Chicago for a work event and walked past our future apartment (we hope), and this could be my front door!!

We headed to Chicago for a work event and walked past our future apartment (we hope), and this could be my front door!!

My future Starbucks. How cute is that?

My future Starbucks. How cute is that?

We headed up to Winnetka/Glencoe to visit a great friend of ours. CUTEST villages I have ever seen.

We headed up to Winnetka/Glencoe to visit a great friend of ours. CUTEST villages I have ever seen.

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My handsome snow bear right after our massive snow storm.

My handsome snow bear right after our massive snow storm.

Happy New Year to all!

The Rebuild

One of the greatest facets to taking a break from running is starting back up again. 

Those first few steps during your first official “training” run, or rebuilding your base run, feel so light and easy (for me at least).  Then you hit the wall of “OMG, I have lost all of my conditioning”, only to be soon followed by the victories of every longer run from there on out.  

Sometimes, I can’t help but see the parallelisms between running and life.  I love running because each run is an opportunity for victory (or defeat).  The outcome is more dependent on my attitude about it rather than the actual run itself, kind of how you can treat your day.  

Each new day offers an opportunity for victory or defeat. Whether you are conquering that pile of laundry, getting a promotion or bombing a presentation. Whatever it is, YOU decide whether you rocked your day or failed at it, and your attitude, not the checks marks on your to-do list, can determine that.

I don’t know how we just went from running to my soap box of positive thinking, but there you have it. I guess what I set out to say was that my efforts to get my base back and prep for a spring marathon are working 🙂

I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season so far! I know this guy is:

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He’s so mad!

The Oddity of Human Nature

Humans are a funny species, and sometimes not in the “ha-ha” way.  I am often surprised by the hurtful things that people can say and the terrible things that people are capable of doing. I just sit back in shock thinking, “how can someone be so disgusting?”. 

Call me naive, but I still find it hard to believe that some people can be so evil and thoughtless.

I am no saint. I make mistakes, I put my foot in my  mouth, but I never act with the intent to hurt.  I have always said that I want to live my life like my mother did: with grace and humor.  I may not always succeed, but I do my best.

Times like this, I try to focus on the good that people do. Good deeds with no agenda, no want for reward, and no need for recognition.

Without the negative we wouldn’t know the beauty that this world is capable of, and I try to do what I can to add to it.

I pray that you all get daily reminders of all the good in this world and that you are able to flush away negativity that comes your way.

Happy Thanksgiving, and love to all ❤

This photo always makes me smile 🙂

An arthritic 19-year-old dog named Schoep is cradled by his owner, John, in the waters of Lake Superior, where the buoyancy eases the dog's pain, allowing him to fall asleep comfortably in his owner's arms.

 

The sweet sound of bath water “tap-tapping” onto your dining room table…

Not the norm for a Wednesday morning? … It was at least an exciting way to start the day.

I was taking a shower, all innocent like, when I noticed that the water wasn’t draining. After attempting to clear a hair clump from the drain, and only realizing there was not one there, I decided that the stopper must be down. Low and behold, the stopper was broken. The water continued to collect in the tub, but it was a shaving day, I had to keep going!

Five inches of water and two bare legs later, I step out of the shower, take one quick glance at our new plumbing issue, and decide it is best to wake up the manlier half for him to deal with (sorry, hun).

Assuring me he can handle it, I head down stairs to make breakfast and continue my beautifying ritual to start the day. My english muffin preparation was interrupted by a slow “tap… tap… tap” sound coming from the dining room. I walked over just in time to see it turn into a solid stream of water coming from the ceiling.

“Paul!?” I yelled up the stairs.
“Yeah, I need you!”

I can’t explain the mechanics of it all, but in an attempt to check the stopper, another piece of the drain system revealed itself as broken, draining water out of the tub.

Paul, kneeling in an attempt to stop the bleed made an ever so calm request: “I need you to hand me towels and go get a bucket or something to get the water out of the tub and pour it into the toilet.”

I frantically dashed downstairs, knowing full well the only bucket we own is in the basement. Forget that! I don’t have shoes on, it is scary, and it smells. I opted for a crystal bowl (it was the first I could find). FYI, lead crystal is not the easiest thing to scoop water with, but my arms felt amazing later that day.

Once that situation was somewhat under control, I headed back to the hazard zone that was our dining room. Water was now coming out of two spots in the ceiling and dripping down the wall.

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Paul came down to join me in the containment process once he had the bathroom situation under control. After tag teaming towel placement and the strategerie of various bowls and chairs, we stepped back to admire our work.

Paul just put his arm around me, kissed my head, and said, “good morning, beautiful. I’ll call a plumber today.”

And we just moved on with business as usual. I’m lucky to have such a calm, capable, loving partner in crime 🙂

I hope you all had a less adventurous hump day. I will have more to come later 🙂

A hiatus of the mind and the body:

I will be the first to admit it: I have been pretty lazy the past month, and I am completely okay with that.  Sometimes, you just have to give yourself some time off.

Running wasn’t fun or motivating for a while, it had become just a chore.  Workouts weren’t getting me excited for my next bout at the gym.  I didn’t know what to write about.  I just kind of wanted a break.

So, I took one.

This isn’t saying I was unhappy in anyway, I think I just recognized that things had started to shift from passions to items on my to-do list.  After taking some time to reflect on the first two-thirds of the year, I realized that my body had been through quite a bit.  I deserved some time to just slip back into neutral and recharge the batteries.

After about a month off, I started the final third of the year yesterday, went out for a great, fall run; no pressure, no goals, just a run, and kicked off a refreshed mind-set.

Sometimes we need breaks from personal pressures. I, personally, have a very hard time staying in the moment, always thinking about the future and my next run or where my career is going to take me.  Where am I going to go to grad school or where will my next job be?  How will I reach my goals?  I don’t want to be so caught up in the next step that I miss the beauty of getting there.  This is why I sometimes need to give myself time to do a status update on life. 

What have you missed?

A Michigan Society of Association Executives Diamond Award that I took home for my association’s e-newsletter.  It was a big win and a huge honor for my whole team who help put it together.

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George Blaha was the MC that night.  If you are not a Michigan sports fan, you probably don’t know who that is, but to Spartans, he is the voice of Michigan State athletics.  When I bounced across the stage in shock and amazement at our win, I was so excited I didn’t even shake his hand!  When I realized I had passed him by I just turned around and cheered, “Touch Down, MSU!”

I felt like an idiot the whole way home for not shaking his hand. Any respectable Spartan does not pass up the chance to shake George Blaha’s hand!

They always say when God shuts a door…

The very next night, who would happen to be sitting at the next table at the bar, but Mr. Blaha himself.

God had opened a window!

Freaking out, I told Paul that God does not present you with George Blaha two nights in a row only for you to not make up for your social blunder from the previous night.

So I walked up to his table, introduced myself and explained that I was the girl who was too excited to shake his hand the night before, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to do so now.  He couldn’t have been nicer and more congratulatory on my award 🙂 

Other than that, I am down about seven inches of hair. I decided that I needed to refresh my look while I refreshing my mind. I now look more like my mother than ever (not a goal, and not a bad thing, just something I noticed after it was cut).  

With my body and soul restored, I am feeling pretty damn good.

I hope all of you are also doing well 🙂

Cheers!

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